Complex systems and biomedical sciences

Group head: M. Wulff

The beamlines in the CBS group use X-ray diffraction, scattering and spectroscopy  to study the structure of soft and hard condensed matter. Examples include the structural dynamics of molecular machines, self-assembly and the emergence of complexity and molecules and nano objects on surfaces. For processes that can be initiated by light, the evolving structure can be filmed with short pulses from the synchrotron. The formation of chemical bonds in catalysis, the spin state of transition metals and conformational changes in proteins are examples that can be “filmed” with high time resolution. We also investigate the properties of bio-membranes, nanoparticles and proteins at interfaces by surface diffraction and reflectivity from liquid, solid and fluid-fluid interfaces. The structure and dynamics of colloids, polymers, membranes and glasses can be studied by correlation spectroscopy and small objects can be reconstructed in 3D from diffraction with a coherent beam.

The group also operates a beamline for biomedical imaging, radiation biology and radiation therapy for pre-clinical and potentially clinical applications. Some of this work is done in close collaboration with the Synchrotron Radiation for Biomedicine (STROBE) group from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Among the main research topics are angiography, lung diseases such as asthma or emphysema, breast cancer and brain cancer. The associated Biomedical Facility has laboratories for the preparation and analysis of a large variety of samples (animals, cells and tissues).

The group is also operating the laboratories in the Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter (PSCM) that support our research with microscopes, spectrometers, rheology, light scattering, ellipsometry and microfluidic devices. Recent projects involve 3D printing of microfluidic devices for sample delivery and cryogenic nano-scanning chambers with fast sample exchange.

Go to the Complex Systems and Biomedical Sciences group web page

Current PhD projects:

  • Structural Changes of Cobalt Catalyst Under Fischer Tropsch Reaction Conditions (in partnership with Leiden University)
  • Molecular Level Understanding of Cavity Formation Upon Loading and Unloading in Crosslinked Nanocomposites (in partnership with Université Grenoble Alpes)